Darnell will coach Aggies in bowl game

COLLEGE STATION, TX -- Texas A&M defensive coordinator Gary Darnell was named the interim head coach for the Aggies today by Director of Athletics Bill Byrne.

"Gary has head coaching experience and our young men and coaching staff respect him," Byrne said. "He will lead our team in our bowl preparations and during the game."

Darnell has served as defensive coordinator for the Aggies the past two seasons. He served as the head coach at Western Michigan from 1997-2004. He took over a team that finished 2-9 in 1996 and the Broncos became the most improved team in the country with an 8-3 record in 1997. WMU won the Mid-American Western Division in 1999 and 2000.

"I have a great deal of faith in our staff and our players," Darnell said. "The values and virtues they have learned throughout their career here at Texas A&M will help deal with this situation. They have a great deal of character. I know whatever bowl game we are rewarded with, they will prepare well and give great effort just like they displayed yesterday at Kyle Field in the win against Texas."

The bowl this year will mark the 12th bowl for Darnell to coach. He has participated in four BCS bowls (twice in Sugar and once in Orange and Fiesta) during his tenure.

Darnell also has experience serving as the interim head coach at the University of Florida in 1989. He posted a 3-4 mark in the final seven games that season.

He also served as a head coach at Tennessee Tech (1983-85).

The Aggies will await word on the bowl selections next Sunday, Dec. 2.